At the end of the story you will find some related activities.

I would love it if you tried some and shared them with me at tiikat@tiikat.com

Look out for the throughout my journal and click on the paw to find out more!

My Journal – The start of it all…

WOOSH, ZIP, ZOOM, POP, BANG!!!

Goodness knows how many ideas and questions explode in my brain every day.

No wonder I’m always hungry! My brain must use up oodles and oodles of energy.

Oodles is such a fun word to say and write. It’s one of my favourites, definitely in the top 100 at least! I don’t know exactly how much an oodle is but it certainly sounds like a lot. I like to think it’s like a giant tower of spaghetti. And that makes it OODLES of NOODLES!

It’s given me an idea for a new joke.
What do you call a group of dogs gobbling lots of spaghetti?
Poodles eating oodles of noodles of course!
Tii hee, I do make myself chuckle. Hmm, buttery noodles… I’m getting hungry again!

These ideas often come out of nowhere, which certainly keeps things exciting. Hopefully, as I am now keeping this journal I can remember them all (or at least more than normal!)

First thing this morning, I had an especially large number of ideas. No sooner had I got myself out of bed than the first one popped into my head, wobbling my whiskers.

I had just walked outside to have a morning ponder, when I noticed that one part of the railing was a different colour to the rest. It’s strange that I hadn’t noticed it before! I began to think about what could have happened to the ship which meant that such a large piece of wood needed replacing.

This then made me think about what sort of life the ship had had before I came on board. If it could keep a journal, what would it say? It must have gone through quite a few experiences as it travelled the world.

I realised I knew very little about it at all. I didn’t even know how old it was or where it had been made. I was a little disappointed in myself for not having thought more about the vessel I depended on to stay afloat!

Before I had time to pause my paws, I had already started pondering my next big idea.

How on earth does a ship or boat even manage to keep afloat?

I can’t even begin to imagine how heavy a ship of this size is and then you have to add the weight of all the people, cargo, delicious food etc on top.

Mmm, food… I’ve sneaked into the storeroom more than once to see how many boxes of delicious treats there are on board, just waiting to be opened…

I know if I tried to walk on water I would just sink to the bottom, so why don’t ships do the same when they weigh thousands, or even millions of times more? The thought gets my tail in a twist.

My morning musings were interrupted by the breakfast bell, so all thoughts were immediately replaced by ones of food.  I would have to return to my ponderings later in the day.

My breakfast today: A big bowl of porridge topped with berries and a good splash of cream, all finished off with a kipper or two (ok maybe 5).

It turned out to be a rather eventful morning, so it wasn’t until the afternoon that I had time to ponder again. After breakfast Captain Roughwater needed me for an important look-out job, so I spent the rest of the morning in the bridge with him or perched in the crow’s nest scanning the waves with my powerful left eye.

I was muttering to myself when I was overheard by Kai while he was scrubbing the deck. He patted me on the back and tried to comfort me.

There wasn’t much I could see, but I had to stay vigilant in case as there had been issues in this area of water before.

After some time without a sighting, I was just starting to lose focus slightly, when suddenly I saw something moving quickly across the waters in front!

It was another boat, smaller than ours and moving faster than I thought was sensible. Why was it in such a rush? There was no land close by, so it seemed very strange.

I sat up, fully alert now, and watched as suddenly the ship turned course and started motoring across our path in the other direction. It was getting closer and closer and soon my ears could just pick out the sound of a motor.

(I can of course hear to a great distance, the benefits of being a cat!)

The boat continued to zig zag ahead, only just keeping a safe distance. I had decided that its captain must be very silly, steering his boat in such an irresponsible manner. Not only could he capsize, but he must also know that a boat the size of The Purrpoise can’t stop or change course suddenly.

I had seen enough to know that the captain needed to be told quickly. His eyes wouldn’t have been able to see the boat (only my special left eye could see that far) and I couldn’t be sure if he had seen it on the radar system yet. Poor Mr Bearing had been taken ill, so there was no official navigator in the bridge. I clambered down with a twisting tail and rushed towards the bridge.

Captain Roughwater had just looked back at the radar and spotted something on it as I arrived. It was taking such a strange course he didn’t know exactly what it was. Luckily, I was able to fill him in quickly and he made the, I think very wise, decision to make an emergency stop. He began to gradually reduce the engine speed so that the ship could then be safely brought to a halt.

I thought you could just use a brake, but I found out that big ships don’t have them! It was fascinating to watch the process as it isn’t simple to stop a ship quickly and suddenly.

Only once we had come to a standstill and could see the bothersome boat zig zagging off into the distance, was the captain able to talk to me. He explained that a collision would have been very very unlikely, but he wouldn’t take the risk.

I hoped the other boat realised, which I doubted from looking at their movements, that their lives may have just been saved by the captain’s actions. After all, it was their boat that would almost certainly have been destroyed in a crash, not our much bigger ship!

Captain Roughwater then revealed that he suspected he knew the offending boat already and that it was also involved in marine research. I would have thought a boat working in marine conservation would know not to travel so fast!

He had had three encounters with a certain arrogant and unpredictable captain before and the size and orange colour of his boat matched my description exactly.

ENCOUNTER NUMBER 1

Captain Roughwater first met Captain Jam Turso (which I learnt was the name of the offending captain) when they were docked side by side in port. Turso’s charm and humour had at first endeared him to the crew of The Purrpoise. They were all working towards a similar goal after all. This dedication to protecting the mariner environment, and its inhabitants, was evidence of great kindness.

However, as they were leaving port the next day Captain Roughwater caught a glimpse of Turso’s quick temper, which he fiercely directed towards those he accused of slowing him down.

At the time, the captain had brushed it off as just a bad day and forgotten about it until they had another chance encounter a few weeks later.

ENCOUNTER NUMBER 2

Captain Jam Turso’s bad behaviour all came back to Captain Roughwater, as Turso showed himself to be impatient and irresponsible once more. This time I heard that he also put lives in danger when he only narrowly avoided crashing into the dock!

That evening, my captain had kindly tried to give him some advice as an older and more experienced seaman, so that he could prevent the situation from happening again. Turso had not taken that well at all! He arrogantly shut Captain down, refusing to accept any advice as he claimed it was certainly not needed as he knew what he was doing. He also called Captain some rude names (which the captain refused to repeat to me, even though I told him I’m NO LONGER A KITTEN!)

Captain Roughwater tried to calm him down, explaining that he was just trying to help not criticise: after all, learning and improving is a never-ending process in their profession. His words seemed to have the opposite effect, as instead of calming down, Captain Turso became increasingly irate. Captain Roughwater thought it best to just leave Turso be, as nothing he could say would help.

The next morning, Captain spotted Turso walking along the promenade chatting warmly and cracking jokes with everyone he met, even greeting Captain with a smile. It sounded like he was a completely different person to what I had heard about him the night before! I see why Captain Roughwater called him unpredictable…

ENCOUNTER NUMBER 3

The final encounter was some time later (the Captain couldn’t quite remember when) while The Purrpoise was slowly sailing through an area of very dense sea traffic. Suddenly Turso’s boat could be seen, coming from behind The Purrpoise until it had drawn up on its right handside. It drew so close that the Captain could hear Turso’s shout of “Ahoy!”.

Captain Jam Turso and his boat remained alongside The Purrpoise until a small gap opened up in front of the ship and he quickly manoeuvred himself ahead and squeezed in front (dangerous of course, and unnecessary). The traffic meant he couldn’t move any further so his boat just sat in front of The Purrpoise as they navigated the busy waters. Captain said that the way Turso stood proudly, with his chest puffed out, made it seem like he felt he had just won something.

When it finally cleared up in front of The Purrpoise, Turso immediately turned his engines up and sped off as if he was in some kind of imaginary race. Kitti the gull later told me that she heard him call out “Ha ha ha, you can’t catch me” as he went which I think shows his arrogance and competitiveness. The captain of course didn’t have any interest in catching him anyway and was actually relieved that he had taken his reckless steering away from his ship.

When telling these stories the captain stressed that he believed Turso to be a good person underneath this behaviour. However, I wasn’t sure I approved of him after these anecdotes, especially as he could be endangering other people. He may be able to be charming and funny, but that isn’t enough for me. This made me think how some grown ups still behave like young children, when they should have learnt better by now!

All the activity of the morning left me ready for a big lunch, but as soon as that was done I found a perfect spot on deck to curl up, ponder and watch the world go by.
As I watched various boats float past the ideas started coming quickly again. (As ships are just big boats I am thinking of them all as boats for now).



Boats are funny things aren’t they! It wasn’t until I ended up floating on the water myself that I noticed and really thought about this carefully.

I spend a lot of time on deck watching things go by and it is remarkable how many different shapes and sizes there are. How curious! There are sailboats, canoes, small dinghies, row boats, huge ferries and so many more types…

Not only can boats look very different but they can have all sorts of different purrposes of course.

These thoughts led to even more of course. After a verrry long time thinking about fishing boats and delicious herring and mackerel, I started thinking about whether boats could be good or bad and what makes them one or the other. I realised that it doesn’t have anything to do with the size, material or how fancy or nice looking they are (in my opinion anyway). What they do, rather than how they are built, is what is important.

Our ship, The Purrpoise, for example, is straight on the good pile without question. It’s main purpose is to work towards the conservation of the ocean and marine life and I can’t think of many things more worthwhile for a ship to do than that.

Of course, the fact that it has been built to be as environmentally friendly as possible helps too. If it was creating lots of unnecessary pollution it would go against what it is setting out to do.

I don’t actually know (or understand) all the features it has yet, but I have heard there are lots. One key thing I know is that The Purrpoise uses sails wherever possible. I also found out that most of the ship is made from recycled material!

The shape is also important somehow, but I am not quite sure about the details, so will have to ask Sisu to explain. She’ll most likely know all the science behind it all.

Pondering does often take a lot of my time. I didn’t realise how long I had been lying on deck deep in thought until Sisu came to get me for Tii-time.

Sisu decided to name afternoon tea after me, because she said she had never seen anyone eat such a big plate of food as a ‘snack’…

I’ve been writing this entry while eating some delicious treats, in between chatting with Sisu (who is writing up her experiments of the morning), but I’ll have to stop now. Our names have just been called out from above! I am going to try to cram the last of my food in my mouth and bolt upstairs with Sisu. What can it be, I wonder???

Back soon…

PS.  What to find out what happened next?  Click here to read the next part of the story…